Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Supermarket lighting enhances nutrient level of fresh spinach

Date:
March 19, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Far from being a food spoiler, the fluorescent lighting in supermarkets actually can boost the nutritional value of fresh spinach, scientists are reporting. The finding could lead to improved ways of preserving and enhancing the nutritional value of spinach and perhaps other veggies, they suggest.

Spinach on display under 24-hour light in supermarkets actually gains in content of some nutrients.
Credit: Marc Villalobos, USDA-ARS

Far from being a food spoiler, the fluorescent lighting in supermarkets actually can boost the nutritional value of fresh spinach, scientists are reporting. The finding could lead to improved ways of preserving and enhancing the nutritional value of spinach and perhaps other veggies, they suggest in a study in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Gene Lester, Donald J. Makus, and D. Mark Hodges note that fresh spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamin C, vitamin E, folate (a B vitamin), and healthful carotenoid antioxidants. Supermarkets often display fresh spinach in clear plastic containers at around 39 degrees Fahrenheit in showcases that may be exposed to fluorescent light 24 hours a day. Lester, Makus, and Hodges wondered how this continuous light exposure might affect spinach's nutritional value.

The scientists exposed fresh spinach leaves to continuous light or darkness during simulated retail storage conditions for three to nine days. Spinach stored in light for as little as three days had significantly higher levels of vitamins C, K, E, and folate. They also had higher levels of the healthful carotenoids (plant pigments) lutein and zeaxanthin. During continuous light exposure after nine days, levels of folate increased between 84 and 100 percent, for instance. Levels of vitamin K increased between 50 and 100 percent, depending on the spinach variety tested. By contrast, spinach leaves stored under continuous darkness tended to have declining or unchanged levels of nutrients, the scientists say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gene E. Lester, Donald J. Makus, D. Mark Hodges. Relationship between Fresh-Packaged Spinach Leaves Exposed to Continuous Light or Dark and Bioactive Contents: Effects of Cultivar, Leaf Size, and Storage Duration. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 58 (5): 2980 DOI: 10.1021/jf903596v

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Supermarket lighting enhances nutrient level of fresh spinach." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303113959.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, March 19). Supermarket lighting enhances nutrient level of fresh spinach. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303113959.htm
American Chemical Society. "Supermarket lighting enhances nutrient level of fresh spinach." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100303113959.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins